Why Everyone Needs a Will, Trust, and Estate Plan

Why Everyone Needs a Will, Trust, and Estate Plan

A will, trust, and estate plan are all essential parts of your legal protection in the event of your death or incapacity. Yet most Americans don’t have them in place—and if you don’t either, you’re putting yourself at risk. With this guide, you can learn more about why every American needs wills, trusts, and estate plans—and how to get started on yours today!

What Makes Up Your Estate?

The life you lead doesn’t happen in isolation- it affects those around you. What do you want your loved ones to do with your possessions when the time comes? This is where wills trusts and estate plans come in: to formalize the distribution of property upon your death.

 In order to choose among wills trusts and estate plans that will serve your needs at death, you’ll need to understand what your estate consists of. While everyone’s property is different- or will be once it comes into existence- you can use an inventory of your current belongings as a starting point.

In order to choose among wills trusts and estates plan that will serve your needs at death, you’ll need to understand what your estate consists of.

The Statistics on Who Has a Will

Nearly half of Americans (47%) don’t have a will or estate plan in place. In the absence of one, the court decides who gets what. But wills can protect your loved ones from legal headaches, expensive probate fees, long wait times for inheritance distributions, and potential tax penalties. These are just some of the reasons that everyone should have a will and estate plan in place. Commercial lawyers near me like Dolan Law Firm can help you get started with all that is involved with planning for the future. For example it’s important to create an inventory of your assets now so that your executor has a clear understanding of what they need to take care of after you pass away.

When You Die With a Will

If you die with a will your estate will be settled according to the guidelines set forth in your will. You can also appoint someone to manage your estate if you wish. This person is called an executor. If you don’t have a will then the state of California decides who is going to take care of your affairs according to their rules for intestate estates.

Assets That Pass Outside of Probate

Most assets do not pass outside of probate. Property passing outside of probate is typically held in joint tenancy, beneficiary deed or trust. When an asset passes outside of probate it is because the owner had set up a plan to avoid the expense and time associated with probating the estate. To avoid unnecessary taxes on the assets that pass outside of probate it is best to consult with a commercial lawyer near me before taking any action.

The Role of Trusts in Estate Planning

There is no one-size-fits-all estate plan. However, there are some common elements that most people should consider when developing an estate plan. One of these is the use of trusts. A trust allows assets to be transferred to beneficiaries without going through probate court. This means that someone who set up a trust can avoid the costs associated with probate proceedings and speed up asset distribution after death. A commercial lawyer near me can help you create a will, trust, and estate plan tailored for your needs.

Trusts for Specific Purposes

A will is the most basic type of estate plan because it sets out who inherits your property. It can also be used to name someone you trust to carry out your wishes for what should happen with your property after you die. A trust is often a more complex way to manage your property because it allows someone else to make decisions about how the assets are managed on your behalf. In addition, trusts are often used as part of an overall estate plan to provide for specific needs such as special needs for children or grandchildren.


Planning for your future is important. Make sure you have the right estate plan by doing some research on wills trusts and estates. Remember, if you don’t have an estate plan in place now, it’s never too late to start one. To learn more about your estate plan options or to create an estate plan that protects your family’s future in case of illness or accident, contact an estate planning lawyer. An attorney will explain all of your options as well as what documents you need to have in place. To get started today on protecting your future with an estate plan contact a wills trusts and estates lawyer near you for help.

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